Friday, 17 September 2010

X-change speakers for Friday 17 September

The X-change events, presented by BBC journalist, Sue Nelson, are like a highlights package at the end of each day of the festival, featuring the most controversial, interesting or downright hilarious people.

The events take place from 18:15-19.30 in the Blue Room of the Aston Student's Guild. You don't need to book in advance, just come along, grab a drink and enjoy the talks and discussion.
There are more speakers to come, depending who manages to wow us during today’s talks, but here are the people we’ve already got lined up for tonight:

19:00 to 19:15 Brother Guy Consolmagno, one of the Pope’s 12 astronomers. 

Brother Consolmagno’s research explores the connection between meteorites and asteroids, along with the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. Here he is talking about science and religion. This is a real coup for the X-change team and is definitely an event for your diaries!

Matt Parker: Maths Comedian

Fresh from his show at the Edinburgh festival, co-author of the Manual of Mathematical Magic, Matt joins us to demonstrate how magic can be used to to put the thrill back into mathematics.

Colin Wright: 75 years of radar

Radar was invented 75 years ago and has made a vital difference to winning the war and continues to keep us safe in the air (as well as catching us if we are speeding). Colin will describe the history, current use and future possibilities of radar. And maybe even get his balls out.

Professor Jonathan Silvertown: Biodiversity
Professor Silvertown will be talking about the OPAL Biodiversity Survey and its importance in helping people understand the importance of urban and rural hedgerows. For the X-change, he will be talking specifically an urban hedgerow in the heart of Birmingham and discovering what lives there.

Professor Michael Coleman: Building brain ‘tissue’ in the laboratory

With our aging population, in incidences of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Motor Neurone diseases are increasing and without new human experimental models of brain function, it’s unlikely we will be able to understand and treat these afflictions. Aston Alumni, Professor Coleman will talk about creating models of brain tissue and the possible implications of this research.

Professor John Gibbins: Preventing Cardiovascular Disease in the Obese World

Professor Gibbins is Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, an organisation that looks at treating heart disease from a variety of angles including prevention and repairing damage. He will outline some of measures that are being using to tackle a problem growing almost as fast as our waistlines.

PLUS! Tell us your favourite science-related joke and the one that raises the biggest laugh will win a shiny new science book, courtesy of the Aston Student Guild Shop.

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